Raise your hand if you’re new to homeschooling and REALLY, REALLY stressed out. Now raise your hand if your kiddos are ALSO pretty stressed out about homeschooling this year. *All hands go up*
You’re not alone. Even for seasoned homeschoolers, this year feels so much harder. Kids have been cooped up inside, they haven’t seen their friends in what feels like forever, and everything about their world has changed really quickly.
Little kids need our help to process change. They thrive when there’s a set routine and get anxiety when things change, even if the change is good. This year my son has had to deal with way too much change. A few weeks after quarantine began, we moved. Plus he had to stop seeing his friends at play group suddenly. Plus he was unable to visit family for a long time. He felt like his world was turned upside down, and it took a long time for him to transition to feeling okay about our new normal.
Transitioning to Homeschool
Luckily, there is a tried-and-true method for making transitions easier on kiddos.
- Give them as much warning as possible before a change.
- Let your kiddo ask a bunch of questions. (This is how kids gain back a sense of control over the situation—asking 100 questions until they understand!)
- Be understanding of regression and behavioral issues. (This is another way that kids can feel like they’re in control when everything is spinning—refusing to eat, potty accidents, throwing toys, etc. Check out this article on comforting kids during the pandemic for more info)
- Keep as much the same as possible. Did you use to go to the grocery store with your kids every Monday morning? Don’t suddenly switch to going on the weekend or in the evening so that you can stick to class time every week day from 8-12. Learning can be done any time. Your child will adjust to the new normal more quickly if you keep most routines the same.
- Give kids more choices. This also helps them feel in control again. “Do you want to start with art today or science? Do you want to practice beginning sounds or counting to 100 while we drive to the store?” If it’s not ESSENTIAL that you make the choice, hand over the reins on choosing.
Homeschool Transition Book
We read to our kids all the time. Whether your kiddo is 3 or 11, they accept books as Truth, and the world just makes more sense to them when it’s written down.
I made this free Homeschool Transition Book so that you have an easy way to explain big upcoming changes to your kiddo in a way that’s exciting and positive.
The book comes in a digital file (Google Slides) that you can fully customize with your own photos and names before reading it together on your tablet/computer or printing it out to read again and again. Photos that need to be changed are all labeled, and words that need to be changed are all in red.
Watch this video to read the entire Homeschool Transition Book, and get access to the digital file link below!